Dr. Skirko is an Associate Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose, and Throat) and the Director of the Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology. He is also the Medical Director of the Cleft and Craniofacial Program at Banner – University Medicine Tucson. Dr Skirko is a skilled clinician with a passion for caring for children with complex craniofacial and aerodigestive disorders, particularly children with cleft lip and/or cleft palate. Additionally, he provides broad clinical care and innovative treatments in advanced pediatric otolaryngology. Dr. Skirko works closely with patients/families allowing him to develop a deep and long-lasting relationship. Rest assured that he will hear your concerns and work closely with you to develop the best treatment plan.
Dr. Skirko is a Surgeon-Scientist with funded research from several institutes. His research allows him to extend his impact in the lives of children with cleft lip and cleft palate beyond those he can personally treat. One area of his clinical research focuses on developing outcomes (measurements) that are important to families. He created a quality of life questionnaire for children with velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI), a cleft related speech problem. This instrument (the VELO) is used by cleft centers across the country and has been translated into eight languages. He has awards and grants by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Both projects work to advance clinical research for young children with Pierre Robin Sequence (PRS), a rare craniofacial abnormality. Caring for and researching the optimal care for children with cleft and craniofacial abnormalities is his passion.
His expertise in cleft lip and palate care and research resulted in being chosen as an editor for the Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Journal. His work has resulted in numerous primary research articles, book chapters, national and international presentations, and awards in the field of Otolaryngology and Pediatric Facial Plastic Surgery.
Dr. Skirko received his BS in Biology and Chemistry from Gonzaga University and a Master's of Health Policy and Administration at Washington State University. He then obtained his Doctor of Medicine at the University of Washington and stayed in Seattle for his residency in Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery. At the University of Washington, he completed a two-year clinical research fellowship with the support of a NIH T32 training grant while also obtaining an MPH in Epidemiology. Dr. Skirko then continued his surgical training at Colorado Children's Hospital in Denver with a fellowship in pediatric otolaryngology. There he received additional focus on pediatric facial plastic surgery.
Dr. Skirko’s passion for selflessly helping those in need has led him to participate in humanitarian mission trips. He has traveled to underserved areas, like Peru and Ecuador, to perform cleft lip, cleft palate and VPI surgery. He now works closely with the Global Smile Foundation.
Dr. Skirko, his wife, and their two young boys fell in love with Tucson during a visit and are excited to become a part of the community. In their free time, they enjoy hiking and enjoying the outdoors.
He sees patients at Banner University Medical Center-North Campus as well as inpatients at Diamond Children’s Hospital. Please call (520) 694-8888 to schedule an appointment.